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Hey bot, a couple suggestions. Vermin mark a possible nesting site w/ urine in the summer so they can find it when it's time to get cozy, when you install the mouse guards throw some soiled kitty litter around (I use bobcat or coyote urine for mice up to skunks on my condo accounts and it works great).
I read that reversing the bottom board when you do the last hive insp to the 3/8" side helps also (makes it more trouble than it worth?), I tried it w/o a mouse guard just for yuks and I didn't have any problems, but it's my first winter too . I'm thinking I'm north far enough I'm going to leave it 3/8".
 
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